Name: Areya Dargahi
Why I Got Started
I began becoming overweight when I was in elementary school. As a child, I'd come home from school, eat sugary foods and live a very sedentary lifestyle, mostly playing video games. Living this lifestyle, I continuously gained weight, and constantly got teased because of it.
In high school, I realized I needed to make a change, so I went on a diet. While I did lose weight, I was the typical yo-yo dieter. I wouldn't eat much, lose weight (fat and lean mass) fast, get complacent and put it all back on, and more.
Once I entered college, I ballooned up to 252 pounds. I knew I not only needed to make change, but one that was permanent. I was tired of being teased and having such low self-confidence. That was when my journey began.
How I Did It
A friend of mine told me about a book called "The Abs Diet" written by the Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health, David Zinczenko. He let me borrow the book and the second I got it, I read the whole thing in a matter of 2 days. After that, using guidelines from the book, I set up my first healthful diet and training program.
As time went by, I read up on everything about health, nutrition and bodybuilding, as that became my passion at the time. Spending copious amounts of time on Bodybuilding.com, I learned more about proper nutrient macros and exercises (including cardio) that facilitated faster fat loss.
Tweaking both my macros and exercises, I found what worked well for me and went on numerous "cutting" and "bulking" cycles with calorie intakes ranging from 1800-3000. One of the biggest findings that worked for me was eating 6 small meals per day, which I still do to this day!
There were definitely times when consistently sticking to the diet and training program got so tough that I just wanted to quit. Luckily, I had a supportive family; they even adopted my lifestyle, changing their eating habits too.
With positive progress continuing within the family, along with motivation from the transformations on Bodybuilding.com, I knew I couldn't stop. I remembered that when I first started this journey, I didn't want it to be short term, but a lifestyle change, so I stuck with it.
As for now, I can say that from the time I started in September 2006 up to the current month of July 2010, I have lost 70-plus pounds of fat and added loads of lean muscle mass.
Meal 4: Pre-Workout
Meal 5: Post Workout
Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Back
Day 3: Cardio
- 20 minutes High Intensity Interval Training
Day 4: Quads/Hamstrings
- Rear Squat: 4 sets of 7-10 reps
- Leg Press: 4 sets of 7-10 reps
- Hack Squat: 4 sets of 7-10 reps
- Power Squat: 3 sets of 7-10 reps
Day 5: Arms
- Cardio: 20 min moderate intensity
Day 6: Shoulder/Traps/Calves
- Cardio: 20 min moderate intensity
- Military Press: 4 sets of 7-10 reps
- Lateral Raises: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Front Raises: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Crossover Rear Delt Pull: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Dumbbell Shrug: 5 sets of 7-10 reps
- Front Barbell Shrug: 5 sets of 7-10 reps
- Rear Shrugs: 5 sets of 7-10 reps
- Calf Raises: 8 sets of 12-15 reps
Day 7: Rest
Suggestions For Others
My suggestions to others are to come up with short-term goals to get to the desired long term goal instead of initially setting the ultimate desired physique.
Also, be honest with yourself. Most us want the figure of a natural pro competitor, but don't understand the time and commitment it takes to get there. Staying consistent is the key, making sure your meals and training stay conducive to your goal.
Additionally, find a partner. Believe me, in the years of training, there are definitely days where the last thing you want to do is go to the gym. Ironically, it seems as if on those days, my partner is at full energy ready to progress.
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